It’s #PrimeDay!!!

Thank you, Amazon Prime and Amazon Smile!!!

Today is #PrimeDay! Shop for great deals at smile.amazon.com/ch/01-0944154 and Amazon will donate to Share the Project Inc.

Support Charity While Shopping for Prime Day

© 2017 Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon,Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, Prime, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210. Reference: 245772890

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Why We (and Amazon) Smile

Amazon is celebrating its #1 ranking in customer satisfaction by the ACSI! Today, March 16, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times the usual donation rate) of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Share the Project Inc. Get started at smile.amazon.com/ch/01-0944154.

Today, your support goes 10 times further.

What does King Wenceslas and Post-Christmas Sales have in common?? Nothing, really…

wenceslasIt’s December 26th, or in the United Kingdom, it is Boxing Day  or a day known in more modern history as Return-The-Gift-I-Received-for-Something-I-Really-Want Day. It is also known as St. Stephen’s Day, named for the very first martyr of Christianity, a deacon who was stoned to death for espousing what was considered blasphemy against his Jewish brethren. And, as the old carol refers, we know that St. Stephen’s Day was when Good King Wenceslas went “round about” in the frigid night of 10th century Bohemia to bring alms to the poor.

Throughout the ages of translations and interpretations, Boxing Day was the day when those who were in service to the wealthy, received a “Christmas box” or present as a gift from their generous employers. Samuel Pepys even made a reference to the tradition of this gift-giving in his diary. But, as is sometimes the sad truth, Boxing Day, which simply coincides with Stephen’s Day in our Western calendar, became return-the-gift day and, for some, the concept of generosity trumping selfishness went flying out the window of time.

I’m with Good King Wenceslas. Let’s take this day,  the one that followed the holidays of Christmas and Hanukah this year when so many of us had the simple privilege of being with family and friends to exchange gifts of love and delight, and remember those whose lives have been fraught with the pain of poverty and loneliness, fear and abandonment. Let’s try to channel our inner Wenceslas and forget the small inconveniences or petty disappointments that our lives sometimes have, and let’s make someone who has nothing a shy bit happier if we can. Let’s just simply try to do unto others.

In a perfect world, this holiday week abounding with love and compassion, would last year round. It’s not that hard to do. May this season of giving never become the season of just receiving. Here’s to a new year coming filled with compassion and caring, peace and hope for all.

It’s time! Help us raise the funds for our 27th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless

SHARE the Project, Inc.
“Take the time…SHARE the experience”
161 Broadway
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706
(914) 478-1795
_____________________________________________________

October, 2016

Autumn greetings from all of us at SHARE!

After a very hectic summer, we are braced for an even busier Fall as we head toward our 29th year here in Hastings. We are fully engaged in our Midnight Run schedule, building and renewing our relationships with those men and women whose lives have been intertwined with ours for nearly three decades. Our students are a pleasant fixture at the weekly Farmers’ Market here in Hastings and the Student Board has been developing our yearlong projects list. And thanks to The Huffington Post, we had a lovely mention as part of a larger coalition we are forming.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-magical-dinner-party_us_57e532e4e4b05d3737be5961
As I said last year, I think it’s fair to say that SHARE the Project, Inc. has become a tradition now: a diverse group of very committed school and college age kids and adults whose sole purpose is to help those who are the neediest in our near communities.
Last November, we had the honor of serving over 700 men, women and children from Westchester and all five boroughs of New York City, a Thanksgiving meal that was made with care and abounding love. As Autumn approaches and the nights cool down, we gladly watch the leaves change colors, as we roll up our sleeves to prepare for what will be our 27th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless, hosted at Hastings High School, here in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, a celebratory gathering of the homed and the homeless. Toasting another year together, we will stand, many hundreds strong, and share a few moments of spirit and of grace as the tireless student and community volunteers serve our guests.

You can be part of this. Donate today and know how much your contribution will help. Please see this link:

https://www.gofundme.com/tdfth

If you prefer, checks can be made out to SHARE the Project, Inc. and mailed to:

SHARE the Project, Inc.
161 Broadway
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706

For more information, please contact us at sharetheproject@gmail.comor share your thoughts directly with me at jeanne@sharetheproject.org. We can be reached by phone at
(914) 478-1795 if you want to donate your time as a volunteer for this event or any of our other projects throughout the course of the year.

With my deepest thanks and very best wishes for a warm and happy holiday season, from all of us here to all of you there,

Jeanne Newman
Founder and Executive Director
SHARE the Project, Inc.
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

SHARE the Project, Inc. dba Project SHARE – We are a public charity. Our 501©3 number is 01-0944154.
SHARE the Project, Inc. has offered all of our high school age students in Hastings and surrounding Westchester communities an opportunity to extend themselves to people whom under no other circumstance would they have an opportunity to meet. It is a program of wide range involvement and all we require is the support of the greater community to help keep our valuable programs available. Please help us continue what has become a tradition for the youth in our area. In the words of Dr. Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

A whispered truth

The presence of her absence is profound.
It’s been nearly a month since my mother died and the depth of pain I feel doesn’t have words that can adequately describe it.
Today, opening the door of her apartment, still filled with her scent, her things, herself in wispy spirit,  I remembered reading Sartre’s “L’Etranger” in French class, decades ago, and seeing the opening words: “Aujourdhui, maman est morte.” The words terrified me as I never wanted to see them again, think about them again or say them to myself. I was as old then as my mother was when she lost her own mom: sixteen and barely cooked as a person. But, of course, so many years later, those words whizzed through my tired brain and it seems that they are what I am seeing today in a neon blaze behind my forehead.
Memories are funny things as they can serve as ‘cheat-sheets’ for times long ago that creep slowly into our consciousness, often sparked by something so out of context. It’s been nearly a month since I watched my mother tap her feet in small dance steps, sitting in a chair in the hospital, bolstered by pillows, her head back, a smile on her face, eyes closed with a knowing look that was so very private to her own memories that the Sinatra tune my daughter was playing for her so inspired. A few short hours later, she was gone and I will never see her do that again.
My mother grew up in post-Depression upstate New York, the oldest daughter of six children borne by my grandmother who emigrated from Southern Italy a decade or two earlier. “Mama” was her center, her core, the foundation for all things right and just, a kind woman – judging by the few photographs I have of her – who loved her children dearly. My mother rarely spoke of her father who was an angry, abusive alcoholic who would come and go and go and come without announcement. My mother and her sisters and brothers were raised by Mama and my Grandma Pape, her mother. My grandmother owned a candy store and was a good businesswoman, according to my mom. Life in West Haverstraw was quiet and had a sameness that rural living seems to bring with it. The family pulled up stakes, and headed to Staten Island when my mother was still a child and I suspect the move was initiated by the settling of most of the other members of the Izzo family in New Dorp.
                                                                           ____________
When I began working with the homeless in New York City, I had a vague sensation that I was somehow connected to them, to the experience though I had no idea how or why. I largely ignored this vague feeling until one day, sitting on the fieldstone patio behind our bosom-y old house, my mother blurted out to me that once upon a very long time ago she and her sisters and brothers spent several months in a Volunteers of America orphanage. My grandmother had been taken quite ill and there wasn’t a relative who could take in all six children at once while their mother was hospitalized.
It was a languid summer’s day and I was watching my two year old daughter play with our Golden retriever, admonishing the poor dog for doing something she found offensive. With her chubby little fist and wagging finger in the pup’s face, I recall her saying in toddler-speak, “No Wo-Wo! NO!” I barely heard my mother’s words and my lack of reaction spurned her to say it once again, “Did you know that we were homeless once?” I was wordless and simply turned to her as she spoke. It was one of my mother’s secrets that she courageously held beneath her heart, allowing it to come out at the right time, in the right place…a secret that was one of many she revealed to me over time.
More than twenty five years have passed since that afternoon. Our work with the homeless continues and there isn’t a time I’m not quietly reminded of my own mother’s time spent without a home of her own to return to.
It’s been nearly a month since my mother has died and I suspect that in time, the craziness of my grief will ebb, replaced with the acquired knowledge of simply learning how to live without her presence, as I gently and simply learn to live with her absence.

The Season of Giving

angelpicI have not yet climbed aboard the shoppers’ train and joined the throngs that fill the malls, trying to find the perfect gift to give during this season of light and magic and love. And, Christmas – the holiday we celebrate in our home – is but a few days away. My children are accustomed to the gifts of new pajamas and the requisite holiday-inspired underwear that I always seemed to give them, along with the baskets of homemade cookies and hot chocolate we make. But, the Christmases of the past are no longer and I’ve decided to walk the walk that I have talked about for so many years: find a charity of your very own choice to give to. Whether you choose to give here or to another charity, please do so. After all, those boxers with Rudolph’s blinking red nose on them grow pretty old pretty quickly, but the gift of supporting charitable works lives on in the growth and deeds of those who donate.

And, for those who really DO like the traditions of gift-giving, we’re all for that, too! Click here to see all the wonderful stores where you can shop online that help support SHARE!

How ever you celebrate, from our home to yours during this magical season of light and magic and love, we wish you nothing but Joy, Peace, and the Happiest of New Years.

The Truth About New York’s Legendary Mole People by Anthony Taille

During this very task-congested time, these two weeks prior to the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless, it’s difficult not to think about the many homeless and hungry poor whose lives intersected with mine over the past 28 years. Many of those who survived the crack pandemic of the 90’s were lucky to get themselves off the streets, out of the tunnels, away from the intense uncertainties of survival when the only thing that mattered was having enough money to get that next fix. Many of them, of course, simply died forgotten deaths, particles of dust in the wind, memories erased by the speed of light and life in a very complicated city.

Anthony Taille, a journalist from Montreal, writes eloquently, soulfully and accurately about topics that have long lost their newsworthiness by our 24 hour cable news network standard. His article on the Mole People, in my opinion, harnesses precisely the essence of urban homelessness. He writes with courage and daring, painting a vivid image out of the grayness of homeless living.

Please, read the piece, slowly and deliberately and simply try to imagine. It won’t be easy, I assure you.

Please.

http://narrative.ly/myths-and-misconceptions/the-truth-about-new-yorks-legendary-mole-people/

And so it begins!

Autumn is here and so are we!

Oh, what a wonderful year we’ve had and all because you have helped support our efforts over the past two and a half decades! I think it’s fair to say that SHARE the Project, Inc. has become a tradition now, as a group of very committed high school and college age kids and adults whose sole purpose it to help those who are the neediest in our near communities.
Last November marked our Silver Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless where we had the honor of serving 839 men, women and children from Westchester and all five boroughs of New York City, a Thanksgiving meal that was made with care and abounding love. As Autumn approaches and the nights cool down, we gladly watch the leaves change colors, as we roll up our sleeves to prepare for what will be our 26th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless, hosted at Hastings High School, here in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, a celebratory gathering of the homed and the homeless. Toasting another year together, we will stand, many hundreds strong, and share a few moments of spirit and of grace as the tireless student and community volunteers serve our guests.

You can be part of this. Donate today and know how much your contribution will help. Please see this link:

https://www.gofundme.com/js3hygws

If you prefer, checks can be made out to SHARE the Project, Inc. and mailed to:
SHARE the Project, Inc.
161 Broadway
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706

For more information, please contact us at sharetheproject@gmail.com or share your thoughts directly with me at jeanne@sharetheproject.org. We can be reached by phone at (914) 478-1795 if you want to donate your time as a volunteer for this event or any of our other projects throughout the course of the year.

With my deepest thanks and very best wishes for a warm and happy holiday season, from all of us here to all of you there,

Jeanne Newman

Founder and Executive Director
SHARE the Project, Inc.
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

SHARE the Project, Inc. dba Project SHARE – We are a public charity. Our 501©3 number is 01-0944154.
SHARE the Project, Inc. has offered all of our high school age students in Hastings and surrounding Westchester communities an opportunity to extend themselves to people whom under no other circumstance would they have an opportunity to meet. It is a program of wide range involvement and all we require is the support of the greater community to help keep our valuable programs available. Please help us continue what has become a tradition for the youth in our area. In the words of Dr. Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

As summer wanes…

…and the days start their ebb into earlier evenings, the preparations for a new school year – everywhere! – are in sight.

When I was growing up, that meant new school shoes and later on sneakers for gym class. We got new school clothes, too, and for me, that always included a new pleated plaid skirt and maybe a matching sweater. My brothers and I got to pick out a new lunchbox, a pencil case, and a new binder. I remember those days so fondly…I suspect my own children do as well.

For too many children, though, new clothes or sneakers  or pencil boxes simply aren’t part of their school preparation list…but even more so, there will be no new books for too many kids who probably have no idea what that new book “feel” is all about.

Let’s change that. We can.

Enter http://www.firstbook.org, a wonderful not-for-profit whose sole goal is to provide books for disadvantaged and disenfranchised children. A literate nation is a strong nation, and so let’s get behind this amazing effort to help those who need the help the most: our nation’s kids.

Please do click on the link below and give…so that one day, these soon-to-be literate kids will fall in love with reading and know what it is to read and to be read to.

From our hearts to yours…

http://tinyurl.com/qg2oluq